US offered ‘large sum’ to German biotech firm for exclusive access to Coronavirus vaccine?


At this time, when the new Coronavirus infection cases hit 169,387 globally, US recorded 3,774 cases of COVID-19 infection cases. To combat this alarming situation US government offered a ‘large sum’ to a company to get access to their Coronavirus vaccine research and said US will share any breakthrough with other countries.

President Donald Trump was recently criticized by the Democratic candidates-Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders-for downplaying coronavirus risk. Meanwhile, his administration agreed to persuade a German company developing a possible vaccine for COVID-19 to move its research work to US. But a German official fears that Trump is trying to assure that any vaccine breakthrough will be available first in the US.

Donald Trump
Donald Trump
Instagram grab/ Donald Trump

German company coronavirus vaccine research

The chief executive of the German firm CureVac, Daniel Menichella who recently attended a meeting in the White House along with Vice President Mike Pence and President Donald Trump said during the meeting, “We are very confident that we will be able to develop a potent vaccine candidate within a few months.” Despite such a promising statement, a few days ago CureVac announced that Menichella was leaving the company, which he had been running for over two years and one of the firm’s founders, Ingmar Hoerr, will replace him.

The German firm, which has its headquarters in the southwestern city of Tübingen, explained that “CureVac refrains from commenting on current media speculations and clearly rejects claims about the sale of the company or its technology.”

As reported by the New York Times two US officials later said that some of the German news accounts first reporting the story were overblown, especially with regard to any effort by the Trump administration to secure exclusive access to a breakthrough vaccine. As of now, the administration has spoken to over 25 companies which claimed to find a vaccine for the Novel Coronavirus. One of the officials said that any development, in this case, will be shared with the world.

However, Germany’s interior minister, Horst Seehofer, said that Chancellor Angela Merkel that he will lead a crisis meeting with ministers on Monday which will include a discussion of a defence strategy of Germans for the company. Seehofer said Sunday that the COVID-19 outbreak has become a question of national security and it is important to secure “our medical products and our medicines.”

Protein
Covid-19 vaccine (Representational picture)
Reuters

US to take over German vaccine firm?

In response to media query about whether the Trump administration had tried to take over the biotechnology company, which is currently researching on the Coronavirus vaccine, Seehofer said on Sunday that he heard about the effort “from several members of the government and it will be discussed tomorrow in the crisis team.” Another unnamed source told media that the German company was offered a “large sum” of money.

As per the report by the German newspaper Die Welt am Sonntag, Trump offered CureVac about one billion dollar in exchange for exclusive access to the COVID-19 vaccine. While quoting an unnamed source from the German government the news outlet also revealed that Trump wanted the resulting vaccine “only for” the US. Later, another German official told the New York Times, it was not clear whether the Trump administration wanted the research work and for any resulting production to be in the US.

As per the company’s website, it should be mentioned that Menichella was invited to the White House to discuss strategies to quickly develop a vaccine. The German firm has begun its research on a number of different vaccines. Currently, they are picking the two best prospects for clinical trials. As mentioned by CureVac, they believe that by June or July it will have an experimental vaccine which will be good to go for trials



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